Pressure Cooker vs. Pressure Canner


It’s important to know what pressure cookers and canners are before we discuss their differences.

For starters, pressure cookers are heavy-duty sealed pots that use steam to build up pressure. Pressure then cooks your food faster than the normal cooking time. A pressure cooker is perfect for a busy individual and for someone who wants to serve food fast. According to, it’s also beneficial if you are trying to rotate through your long term food storage as it makes cooking beans, rice, and wheat very quick and easy. Tenderizing meat, cooking rice, making soup, and browning meat, poultry, and some vegetables will be easier with a pressure cooker on your kitchen counter.

On the other hand, pressure canners are used to can low-acid foods like meats, vegetables, and beans. Water-bath canning is all right but it only gets the foods as hot as boiled water, which won’t be enough to preserve the flavor and texture of these types of foods. Pressure canners help increase the temperature high enough to kill the bacteria. Pressure canning is beneficial for an individual who tends to have quick dinners often because it is convenient.

Let’s move on to their differences and the frequently asked questions regarding the two.

Q: Can I use my pressure cooker as a pressure canner?
A: No. Pressure cookers aren’t made to monitor and maintain pressure as accurately as pressure canners do. If the correct pressure isn’t met and maintained, the correct temperature won’t be as well. In the end, you will spoil the food.

Q: Can I use my pressure canner to cook?
A: Sometimes. This is rare and you should always refer to the manual of your canner. You can’t, however, cook foods that will foam up because they can clog and block the steam vent of your canner. And a blocked vent will cause the pressure to build up inside the canner which is perilous.

Q: What should I store in a pressure canner?
A: All low acid or alkaline foods must be processed in a pressure canner, not through water-bath canning.

Q: What foods can be processed through water-bath canning?
A: All acidic foods such as fruits, pickled vegetables, sugar preserves, and tomatoes with a little-added acidity (lemon juice, vinegar, or citric acid)

Q: Which is more expensive?
A: Pressure canners are more expensive because they are more sophisticated.

Q: Which is bigger?
A: Pressure canners are, more often than not, bigger than regular pressure cookers.

Q: What gadgets should I get with a pressure canner?
A: You’ll need a canning rack to hold the jars off the bottom of the cooker, a basket that holds the jars, a jar lifter, and a canning funnel.

Q: My electric pressure cooker says it is compatible for pressure canning. Is it true?
A: Even if they make such claims, don’t do it. This cannot be done become low acid foods can’t be safely canned in a pressure cooker—a cooker incapable of acquiring enough pressure to reach the required safety temperature of 115 degrees Celsius. If you do as it claims, it’s a canning mistake.

You can always have the best of both worlds by purchasing a pressure cooker and canning pot. There are a number of choices available on the market.